Think globally, legislate locally!
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is a great opportunity to review what is happening at the state level to increase environmental protection.
The following bills, if passed, would further protect our planet.
House Bill 531
This would help expand community solar projects. Community solar creates exciting new markets and encourages entrepreneurship by dramatically expanding opportunities for neighbors, businesses, farms and other community members to participate and benefit from a solar project connected to the electrical grid in PA.
Through community solar, participants can subscribe to a portion of an offsite solar project and receive credit on their electricity bill for the power produced, just as if solar panels were on their roof.
Community solar gives citizens and businesses the choice to participate – there is no mandate for participation or request for state funding. By passing this legislation, Pennsylvania would join 18 other states in giving its residents and businesses the opportunity to acquire solar energy from a community solar project.
House Bill 1100
This legislation targets those large manufacturers using PA methane in the production of ammonia, urea and methanol. This bill would encourage large corporations to make PA their home.
It would also leverage the natural gas industry by permitting significant tax credits to be issued to an undetermined number of plants who purchase and use natural gas in the manufacturing of petrochemicals or fertilizers in the Commonwealth.
House Bill 1425
This bill would aid in decreasing greenhouse gases which in turn will reduce the levels of air, water, and land pollution, thereby preserving the health and welfare of citizens.
A transition to 100 percent renewable energy will provide for the creation of “green-collar jobs,” while giving Pennsylvania’s academic institutions and other stakeholders the opportunity to advance new fields of technology to produce commercial and civic innovations.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Governor Wolf ’s executive action in October 2019 instructed the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based collaboration among nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change while generating economic growth.
The RGGI is the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is a cooperative effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. Additional information can be found at www.rggi.org.
A zero-waste package of bills has also been introduced. These bills range from prohibiting the use of ‘styrofoam’ containers to providing plastic straws only upon request, to increasing littering and dumping fines, and increasing disposal and recycling fees at landfills. Details of those bills can be found at www.pahouse.com/ zerowaste.
Personally, I will utilize my reusable water bottle, continue to purchase products that are not unnecessarily packaged, and expand the uses for my cloth bags beyond the grocery store. A new twist this year for me will be learning to compost food scraps.
Thank you for joining me in celebrating Earth Day and to continue to promote environmental awareness and to remind others that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives.
Mark Your Calendar
Important Election Dates
(Editor’s Note: On March 26, Gov Wolf and state legislators rescheduled the PA primary election to June 2.)
- Monday, May 18. Last day to register before the primary election (15 days prior)
- Tuesday, May 26. Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot (no excuse necessary) or civilian absentee ballot.
- Tuesday, June 2. Primary Election Day. Polls are open 7AM – 8PM.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Concerns?
Make your voice heard by calling (215) 482-8726 or visiting pahouse.com/DeLissio.